The Benchley Roundup: A Selection by Nathaniel Benchley of His Favorites

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University of Chicago Press, 1954 - Humor - 333 pages
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Robert C. Benchley's sketches and articles, published in periodicals like Life, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, earned him a reputation as one of the sharpest humorists of his time; his influence—on contemporaries such as E. B. White, James Thurber, and S. J. Perelman, or followers like Woody Allen, Steve Martin, and Richard Pryor—has left an indelible mark on the American comic tradition. The Benchley Roundup collects those pieces, selected by Benchley's son Nathaniel, "which seem to stand up best over the years"-a compendium of the most endearing and enduring work from one of America's funniest and most penetrating wits.

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by then I was too famous."
—Robert Benchley
 

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Contents

Take the Witness
1
How to Get Things Done
5
The Social Life of the Newt
11
Football Rules or Whatever They Are
16
The Tortures of WeekEnd Visiting
20
From Nine to Five
26
Shakespeare Explained
33
Christmas Afternoon
36
The Wreck of the Sunday Paper
198
WhatNo Budapest?
201
Minds Eye Trouble
204
How to Understand Music
210
The King and the Old Man
214
The Real Public Enemies
217
MatineesWednesdays and Saturdays
222
The Chinese Situation
227

Family Life in America
41
Do Insects Think?
44
The Stranger Within Our Gates
46
Opera Synopses
51
Malignant Mirrors
57
How to Understand International Finance
59
KiddieKar Travel
61
Uncle Ediths Ghost Story
67
French for Americans
71
Is This the Missing Link?
76
The Mystery of the Poisoned Kipper
79
Ask That Man
83
Edithas Christmas Burglar
87
What Does It Mean?
92
A Talk to Young Men
94
Paul Reveres Ride
98
Throwing Back the European Offensive
103
More Songs for Meller
108
Compiling an American Tragedy
111
Interoffice Memo
114
Fascinating Crimes
121
Back to the Game
124
The Typical New Yorker
130
Carnival Week in Sunny Las Los
138
Another Uncle Edith Christmas Story
143
If These Old Walls Could Talk
149
Happy Childhood Tales
152
The Sunday Menace
155
Can We Believe Our Eyes?
160
Not Murder but Suicide
164
One Minute Please
169
Looking Shakespeare Over
174
How I Create
178
FirstCatch Your Criminal
183
The Noon Telephone Operator
187
Fall In
190
Could You Tell Me?
194
Saturdays Smells
230
Route Nationale 14
233
Naming Our Flowers
239
JohnnyontheSpot
241
Down with Pigeons
244
Contributors to This Issue
249
No Pullmans Please
251
Mysteries from the Sky
253
Isnt It Remarkable?
255
Do Dreams Go by Opposites?
257
News from Home
259
The Childrens Hour
262
Back to Mozart
264
Spy Scares
266
Artists Model Succumbs
268
Ladies Wild
270
Cocktail Hour
275
Why We Laughor Do We?
277
Weather Records
281
Home Made Jokes
283
Men of Harlech
285
Summer Shirtings
289
Word Torture
292
I Know of It
294
The Card
296
How Long Can You Live?
299
My Face
301
Easy Tests
305
Encore
307
Hey Waiter
309
Sporting Life in America
314
Why I Am Pale
319
Whoa
322
The Menace of Buttered Toast
323
Do I Hear Twenty Thousand?
326
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About the author (1954)

Robert C. Benchley (1889-1945), a premier humorist of his time and member of the Algonquin Round Table, wrote for the New York World and New York Tribune Graphic as well as many other periodicals; his work was widely syndicated and anthologized.

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